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Howard Serwer

(b Görmar, nr Mühlhausen, Jan 8, 1732; d Mühlhausen, 1773). German writer on music and composer. He was a magister of philosophy, an honorary member of the German Society of Altdorf University, and an imperial poet laureate. His writings include an original work on theory, contributions to the current discussions of Rameau's theories which he favoured, and translations and editions of works of others. In addition, he published an important article on the state of music in Mühlhausen, two in defence of music in the church, and one on the German language. His compositions, consisting largely of sacred vocal works to his own texts, were mostly written for the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen, where he was Kantor and music director. They include a setting of the Passion and a yearly cycle of cantatas (texts published in 1764), as well as two published collections of keyboard and vocal pieces intended for students. Only a sacred song ...



Bathia Churgin

(b Turin, 1758; d Rome, Jan 1819). Italian theorist, violinist and composer. He was trained in Turin, a leading centre of violin playing in the 18th century; later he moved to Rome where (according to Fétis) he was active as a violin teacher, a composer of instrumental music, and musical director of the Teatro Valle for 15 years. Galeazzi published his six duets op.1 (1781) in Ascoli Piceno, where he married and spent his later years. The two volumes of Galeazzi's treatise, Elementi teorico-pratici di musica, were published in Rome in 1791 and 1796, the second volume dedicated to his patron in Ascoli, Tommaso Balucanti. The title-page of the second edition of vol.i (Ascoli, 1817; dedicated to another patron, Giovanni Vitale) identifies Galeazzi as a teacher of the violin and mathematics; his many scientific interests are well documented. Few of Galeazzi's compositions are extant; besides two sonatas, six duets and 12 trios, opp.11 and 15, a violin solo, fragments of two violin concertos and the introduction to op.15 no.4 appear as examples in his treatise. A setting of the ...


David Johnson

revised by Suzanne Wijsman

(b Edinburgh, c1765; d Edinburgh, 1824). Scottish scholar, cellist and flautist. He studied the cello with Hugh Reinagle and was educated at Cambridge; in about 1790 he moved to London, where he worked as a cello and flute teacher. He returned to Edinburgh in 1802 and in 1804 married Anne Young (d 1826), a concert pianist and educationist, who invented and patented a set of musical games, An Introduction to Music … illustrated by the Musical Games and Apparatus, and published The Elements of Music (both Edinburgh, c1804).

Gunn was a learned and versatile musician, who published treatises on four different instruments. His Theory and Practice of Fingering on the Violoncello (London, 1789) is the most comprehensive treatise on the cello produced in 18th-century Britain. It was favourably received by contemporary reviewers and compared with well-known earlier treatises, such as that of Lanzetti. A similarly favourable reception followed the publication of ...


T. Herman Keahey

[Friedrich Wilhelm ]

(b Hanover, Nov 15, 1738; d Slough, Aug 25, 1822). English musician and astronomer of German birth. The son of the violinist and oboist Isaac Herschel (b 14 Jan 1707; d 22 March 1767), he was born Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel and became a naturalized English citizen on 30 April 1793 with the name William Herschel. As a young boy he excelled at scientific studies but was soon engaged by the Hanover Guards as an oboist and violinist (1 May 1753). ‘This engagement’, he said, ‘furnished the means for my improvement not only in music, which was my profession, but also in acquiring a knowledge of the French language, with the advantage of studying above two years under a very well informed teacher [Hofschläger], who … encouraged the taste he found in his pupil for the study of philosophy, especially logic, ethics and metaphysics.’

In ...


Nancy Kovaleff Baker

(b Rudolstadt, Oct 10, 1749; d Rudolstadt, March 19, 1816). German theorist and violinist. He served in his youth as a violinist in the Hofkapelle at Rudolstadt and in 1772 became a court musician. He studied the violin and composition with the Kapellmeister Christian Scheinpflug and briefly continued his studies in Weimar, Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg before returning to Rudolstadt, where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1792 he was appointed Kapellmeister, but he returned voluntarily to the orchestra as a first violinist after one year. Composition and writing then occupied him until his death. He was posthumously elected to the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in 1818.

The majority of Koch's compositions were for the court: cantatas, a drama Die Stimme der Freude in Hygeens Haine (1790), instrumental works and sacred music. Except for excerpts illustrating his theoretical writings, these are now lost. Seven symphonies ascribed to ‘Koch’ and formerly held by the Hofkapelle (now in ...


Rudolph Angermüller

(b Salzburg, July 10, 1778; d Paris, April 3, 1858). Austrian composer, pianist and scholar. His chief importance is as a transitional figure between Classicism and Romanticism. His father, David Neukomm (1749–1805), was a schoolmaster and teacher in a teacher training college; his mother, Cordula (née Rieder, 1753–1814), who was related to Michael Haydn, was a singer in the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg.

Neukomm received his first musical tuition at the age of seven from the Salzburg Cathedral organist, Franz Xaver Weissauer, and later became a pupil of Michael Haydn, who was responsible for his theoretical studies. On 1 December 1790 he entered the Benedictine Gymnasium in Salzburg, and subsequently studied philosophy and mathematics at Salzburg University. In about 1792 he became honorary organist at the university church, and in 1796 chorus master at the Salzburg court theatre. At the end of March 1797...


José López-Calo

(b Tarrasa, c1732; d El Escorial, Oct 19, 1781). Spanish theorist and instrumentalist. On 18 November 1756 he became a monk in the order of St Jerome at the monastery of El Escorial, where he taught plainsong and remained until his death. His brother Pablo Ramoneda, also a monk at El Escorial, was the maestro de capilla. Ignacio’s treatise Arte de canto llano (Madrid, 1778) circulated widely in Spain; a second edition (abridged by Juan Rodó, organist at the monastery) was published in 1827. Ramoneda also compiled the Indice de la insigne librería del coro de este Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo (MS, c1775, E-E ), the earliest catalogue of the monastery’s music collection. In the same archives are a number of his compositions: a mass, five Lamentations for Holy Week and psalms, some with instruments and continuo. In his lifetime he was renowned for his remarkable skill on the organ and other instruments, but his subsequent reputation is based on his plainsong manual....


Leonard G. Ratner

revised by Thomas Emmerig

(b Deutsch-Hörschlag, Upper Austria, Jan 22, 1709; d Regensburg, Oct 23, 1782. Austrian theorist, composer and violinist. He attended the Jesuit Gymnasium, St Michael, in Steyr from 1727, and in 1733 he began studies in philosophy at the Jesuit college in Linz; at this time he started reading Fux’s Gradus ad Parnassum. After a year of study at the University of Graz, 1735–6, he served as valet to General Alexander Graf d’Ollone during the Turkish wars of 1737–9 and accompanied him through Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Slavonia. In 1739 he went to Dresden where he lived until 1745, taking daily lessons from Zelenka. Unable to find a position, he spent time in Poland and about 1747 went back to Vienna.

Riepel was appointed Kapellmeister at the court of the Prince of Thurn und Taxis in Regensburg in 1749. This was his first and only position, and he held it for over 30 years, during which time he elevated the court orchestra to a high standard; he was also known for his skill as a violinist....


Robert N. Freeman

[Johann Karl Dominik]

(b Melk, Aug 4, 1748; d Vienna, Nov 8, 1833). Austrian composer, music historian and keyboard performer. He received his earliest musical training from Johann Leuthner, bass at the Benedictine abbey of Melk. In 1758 he went as a choirboy to Lilienfeld, where he learnt the violin, clavichord and organ and made his first attempts at composition. During vacations he revisited Melk to study the music of the new organist J.G. Albrechtsberger. Stadler continued his formal education after 1762 at the Jesuit College in Vienna. In November 1766 he entered Melk as a novice, took his vows the following year and was ordained on 13 October 1772. After directing the abbey’s theological studies for eight years he served briefly as chaplain in Wullersdorf in 1783. He was elected prior of Melk on 17 November 1784.

Favoured by Emperor Joseph II during the suppression of the Austrian monasteries, Stadler was appointed abbot of Lilienfeld in ...


Margaret Grave

[Abbé Vogler]

(b Würzburg, June 15, 1749; d Darmstadt, May 6, 1814). German theorist, teacher, keyboard player, organ designer and composer. His theory of harmony influenced 19th-century approaches to music analysis, and he anticipated the Romantic period in his chromatic harmony, colouristic orchestration and melodic borrowings from folk tradition and exotic cultures. His radical concept of organ design aroused widespread interest and controversy; his writings on the reform of sacred music foreshadowed the Cecilian movement.

The son of a Würzburg instrument maker, Vogler attended a Jesuit Gymnasium before enrolling in humanistic studies at Würzburg University in 1763. Subsequently he studied common and canon law, first at Würzburg, then at Bamberg. During his student years he composed ballet and theatre music for university performances. In 1770 he obtained a post as almoner at the Mannheim court of Carl Theodor, the Elector Palatine. Politically resourceful, he soon attained prominence in the court’s musical life, secured the elector’s favour, and was granted the financial means to pursue musical study in Italy (from ...